Q:Good day ma’am. Please, I want to know if something is wrong with me. I started menstruation at 14 years with full 3 days flow but the flow started reducing, now it’s less than 2 days, 1 & 1/2 days. I have gone to clinics, checked my PCV and have even taken prescribed drugs for infections yet d flow keeps reducing. I am scared because they said normal menstruation should be 3 days minimum and 7 days maximum. I am now 28 and not married yet. Is anything wrong with me ma’am?
A: First things, first. The fact that you are 28 and not yet married does not mean that there is anything wrong with you! Absolutely not! You are beautiful, brave courageous (it takes guts to even ask questions about what could be wrong with you! Most people prefer to bury their heads in the sand and hope that this will go away!). Even if there is something medically wrong, the first step towards healing is asking questions about what the problem could be. Then, you can take next steps.
What is normal in terms of menstrual cycles varies from person to person with menstrual flow lasting between 2 to 8 days and the cycle lasting anything from 21 to 35 days. A reduction in flow (scanty period) is called hypomenrrhea (pronounced hai-po-men-oria) and a reduction in the number of days of flow to less than 3 days is called oligomenorrhea (oli-go-men-oria). Women with oligomenorrhea may go up to 35 days without a period.
Now at the onset of puberty, the flow and cycle can vary from one cycle to the other; the same goes for the other extreme of life (old age).
So, what else could have caused your flow to reduce? They include pregnancy (the supposed period may be an implantation bleed), crash dieting (when you want to lose all the weight you added in 5 years in one week :D), intense physical activity, Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD), imbalance of hormones, Diabetes or thyroid problems and use of contraceptives. Previous instrumentation like Dilatation and Curettage (D and C) can result in a condition called Asherman’s syndrome which manifests as reduction in menstrual flow. In the same way that stress can delay a menstrual period, it can also cause a reduction in flow.
Oligomenorrhea is not necessarily a serious problem, but it could be indicative of an underlying disease. You must work with your gynaecologist in order to manage this. If the cause is PCOD, focus will be on the treatment; if due to intense exercise, reducing intensity will be helpful; if due to crash dieting, focus on eating a proper balanced diet will help etc. Your gynaecologist will carry out a detailed examination and investigation to arrive at the cause and advice on treatment.
Have a great evening, great people 😀